tv The Last Word MSNBC January 21, 2013 10:00pm-11:00pm PST
that to me ♪ ♪ would you baby ♪ staying around you is all i see ♪ ♪ baby, let's, let's stay together ♪ ♪ i'm loving you whether, whether, whether times are good or bad, happy or sad ♪ ♪ let's, let's stay together ♪ we ought to stay together baby ♪ ♪ loving you whether times a good or bad, happy or sad ♪ ♪ whether times are good or bad, happy or sad ♪
♪ stay together they danced tonight at the official inaugural ball, and the first lady wearing a custom-made ring by jewelry designer kim mcdonald, shoes designed by jimmy choo. at the end of the inaugural festivities, the accompanying accessories will go to the national archive. but you are going to stay here, because the second inaugural ball continues through the night. now it is time for lawrence o'donnell with "the last word." thank you for joining us, thank you for staying with us. >> on this, our 28th observance, we held the inauguration of the
president. >> welcome to the capitol and to this celebration of our great democracy. >> after a divided first four years, he starts anew. >> i, barak hussein obama, do solemnly swear. >> the celebration, the tradition, is really important. >> an inaugural is obviously history. >> there is a strong theme of civil rights. >> america's possibilities are limitless. it is now our generation's task to carry on. >> this speech was about an action plan. >> we cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or treat name-calling as debate. we must act.
>> things will get back to what we see as normal. >> today is a day to celebrate the democracy. >> my fellow americans, we are made for this moment. and we will seize it so long as we seize it together. >> for the first time in recent history, today a giant event in washington ran a few minutes early. and ten minutes before noon, chief justice john roberts administered the oath of office to the president, and he delivered the second inaugural address which lasted just over 18 minutes. >> for our journeys are not complete until our wives and mothers and daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts. our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law. for if we are truly created
equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal, as well. our journey is not complete until no citizen is forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote. our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see america as a land of opportunity. until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our work force rather than expelled from our country. our journey is not complete until all of our children from the streets of detroit to the hills of appalachians, to the quiet lanes of newtown, know that they are cared for and cherished, and always safe from harm.
that is our generation's task. to make these words, these rights, these values of life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness real for every american. >> before leaving the inaugural platform as president for the very last time, president obama had the presence of mind to stop and take in the moment. you know, he is not the only one there who is getting a last look
at that, but i love that he is the one who really wants to take in that last look. >> that is a very powerful moment where he says hold up, wait a minute, i want to take a look at this. and you can just see him, his eyes looking over the mall, taking it all in. but the thing i found even more revealing, even more moving, was that he had to move out of the way, because when everybody else was moving on, they all wanted to go. but here is the president of the united states, somebody who is supposed to be above everything, nothing impresses him, and yet in that moment that was his time that he was taking for himself. >> and krystal, we actually saw the president trying to slow down his life for just a couple of more moments, take it in. >> just to take it in, i was watching him as he watched, you know, chuck schumer, the opening comments. and it was the side of the
president we didn't see in the first term, much more emotional after newtown, even thanking the field staffers. he has just a real sense, are -- not only what it means to him but for those who reelected him. it sends a message, one term could have been a fluke, but two terms sends a message of who he is now. >> the first interest i had, is there a human being there? and you can tell right away, they approach you on the floor of the senate. there is a complete vacancy in there, they are nothing but mechanical politicians, they wanted to be that their entire lives. and then there are the guys, the women who are there who want to be a real person.
and that is the kind of person who would know where he was at that moment, to stop and make a turn. >> that is right, it reminds me of somebody who was down there, a woman who was there, 86 years old, she said she attended the first inaugural for fdr, i asked her what made her want to come down there for the inauguration. she said he had a stillness about him. i didn't know you were going to play that moment, but there is a stillness in it, that people can almost identify with it. although we don't really know what it is to be under that pressure, but you sense a real human being there taking it? >> another real human being there, we have joe biden, let's listen to what he has to say. >> 1.7, 1.7 million of you have walked across the scorching sands of iraq or been in those
godforsaken mountains and plains of afghanistan. many of you, just having served one tour, many have served two, three, four, five, the last time of the 23 or 4 times that i have been in afghanistan or iraq. i was flying in, i went into the cockpit, the load master was there, i said how many of you is this your first tour? nobody raised their hand, i said second tour, one, third tour, two, fourth, fifth, two. ladies and gentlemen we have never, never, never in the history of america asked so much of a generation. and you have met it with incredible pride.
the joint chiefs of staff has prepared you in a way that always sort of takes my breath away every time i see you. one of the great honors of my life has been to visit many of you when you were serving abroad, from the mountain tops of remote fobs above the valley, watching six of you sit up on a mountain top and get shot at every single night, and day in and day out. to a striker brigade watching you wipe off the blood from a wounded comrade, and go back out again and again and again. i'm not just saying this, folks, you are amazing. you are an amazing, amazing generation.
and folks, where your service ends ours begins. our service as citizens, to each and every one of you, only 1% of you have fought these last two wars, one which is still going on, with 68,000, 68,000 of you. still in afghanistan. every day and tonight as we speak. ladies and gentlemen, only 1% of you have served. but 99%, as jill said, 99%, the remainder of the american people owe you a debt of gratitude. we have many obligations, we have many obligations. your commanders have heard me say many times over the last 15 years, we only have one truly sacred obligation.
we have obligations to our children and to the elderly, to the poor, the disadvantaged. we have obligations to public safety. but there is only one truly, and i mean this sincerely sacred obligation this nation has. and that is to equip and prepare those who we send into war and care for you and your families when you come home. that is the only sacred obligation. and ladies and gentlemen, i promise you, neither the president or i or jill or michelle or the vast majority of american people will forget that obligation. and we won't forget it to your families, either. i know the many times i was in iraq with the generals, they heard me quote this a lot. but john milton, the english poet once wrote, he said, they also serve who only stand and
wait. they also serve who only stand and wait. to your spouses, to your mothers, to your fathers and children, we owe a similar obligation. i watched jill every morning for the year our son, major biden was stationed in iraq, i watched her every morning before she went off to teach, standing over the sink, stirring her coffee and saying the same prayer, those of you who are spouses, there is not a day, an hour, a moment that goes by, as much as you try to put it out of your mind you don't worry. when your husband or wife, your son or your daughter is in harm's way. so we owe you, as well. ladies and gentlemen, you are, and this is not hyperbole, you are the heart and soul of this country, you are america's very spine.
you are the spine of this nation. and you also, you also are america's promise. so god bless you all and may god protect our troops. thank you all so very, very much. [ applause ] >> now, i understand we have a live link, i want to know what is going on there you, colonel kramer? >> good evening, sir, and commander of second battalion, on behalf of the service members and their families, 8th army and second infantry division. >> that is the vice president at the commander-in-chief ball. he seems to be chris-crossing with the vice president. the commander-in-chief is the
one where the active duty, military and reservists are, which is why he spoke to them directly. but joe biden has had a very, very, busy day, literally running around the area, we'll show the video of him literally running around the parade. the president got out and walked a little bit. joe jogged. i think he doesn't want us thinking about how young or old he is. >> no, and did you notice one of the people he shook hands with, as he jogged around and dove into the crowd, was terry mccauliff, joe biden is enjoying an incredible moment for himself. and i think people -- during the campaign, people talked about whether the president was going to swap him out and bring hillary clinton in. whether joe biden was a liability to the president
because he is always sticking his foot in his mouth in a loveable sort of way. but whenever the president gets into a jam, whenever the president got into a jam in the first term, who did he turn to to get him out of it? joe biden. guns, middle class relief. the fiscal cliff deal. the debt ceiling situation of 2011. it was joe biden the president turned to. the president chose joe biden for a reason. a creature of the senate, he said at the lunch today, he will always be a senator. and joe biden is his brain trust, his institutional memory, there is the guy. >> and to get it done -- get it done there. i think he is the best vice president of my lifetime. because i don't think that dick cheney's effectiveness of torture is something -- >> for good or evil.
>> and doesn't it also go to the kind of leader that barack obama has been, not only for the country, but for the democratic party. johnathan's point, joe biden was an early rival, who he said very inopportune statements about him. he is super excited if he is confirmed to take on this role. it is a different kind of democratic leadership. people who follow the democratic party on its ups and many downs remember how many other rivals and nominees have been left on the side of the road. and left, really to be seen as somehow an embarrassment, even if they stood for good things, al gore for many years, michael dukakis, and it goes to barack obama's strength, taking people, building them back up. it is good not only for the party but for the country. >> we're going to take a break,
every president, their first presidential decision actually happens before they're elected. that is their choice of vice presidential running mate. when i saw what was to become president obama make that decision, knowing joe biden, i was so impressed by the quality of that decision. we have to take a break, we'll talk more on the dancing, there is an evolution, they started off stiff. it was like watching steve kornacki. but they got better. we'll be right back, our dancing with the president's analysis coming up. [ male announcer ] citi turns 200 this year. in that time there've been some good days. and some difficult ones. but, through it all, we've persevered, supporting some of the biggest ideas in modern history. so why should our anniversary matter to you? because for 200 years, we've been helping ideas move
and this is what they did, i mean, come on, come on. >> that is like the first dance at the wedding. >> well, here, i discovered another reason why i couldn't be president. because i can't do that. i'm not dancing with anybody in front of millions and millions of people. >> oh, come -- >> it is like so brightly lit. that is not dance lighting. look at that. it is so embarrassing. >> it is -- i always think the first dance at the wedding is also a very awkward tradition, it is uncomfortable for all. >> you would be totally cool with it? >> i would be totally cool with it, the main thing for running -- barack obama dances very well alone, because he tore it up -- on ellen. >> we'll be right back with more dancing, we'll see more dancing. ♪
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we must act, we must act knowing that our work will be imperfect. we must act knowing that today's victories will be only partial, and it will be up to those who stand here in four years, and 40 years, to advance the timeless spirit once conferred to us in a spare philadelphia hall. >> johnathan capehart, i have a prediction, the next inaugural address will not be as good. nobody is going to have the effect he has, nobody will have the poetry. >> we say that now, when bill clinton was president, they said there wouldn't be anybody else who can delivery a speech like him. and now, we have president obama who in how many minutes was that? 18 minutes he packed in a lot of power in words, in flourishes,
excuse me, i wrote about this today, the most powerful moment in that speech among many was when he mentioned the word, stonewall, talking about the flash point rights of the gay movement. but he didn't just leave it there. next moment he talked about equality for our gay brothers and sisters. i tell you, that is a lightning bolt in the gay community, now, once those who questioned him being president, now, to hear the president of the united states use one of the most powerful platforms that a president has in the inaugural address to acknowledge and affirm their existence, and their role as -- part of the american story. it is something that will be a pivotal moment in the gay rights history, and for his presidency.
>> there was not the legislative -- here is what i will do because of thoughts i have. it is more about core principles. >> and it in fact, should not. >> there is no demand for that specificity. >> i was amazed how he connected it to our history and to who we are as a people. i thought he did that beautifully. i was actually surprised by sort of how directly progressive he was, talking about women, gay rights, gun rights, immigration reform. i mean, he really articulated exactly what he sees for the country in an incredible way. i was surprised by that. and then there was a direct contrast with his first inaugural address, which was more of the post-partisan we'll change the tone in washington.
well, we have seen you can't change the tone in washington, you have to work with how you have found it. i found it to be an incredible moment. and as you pointed out you could really tell they recognized the importance of the moment, as well. >> and his language choice was so wise and inclusive, so many raved about the speech. newt gingrich said he didn't think it was particularly a liberal speech, that is because the choice of the language was not threatening to the way newt gingrich thinks about the world. >> right, and we talked about how important this day was, martin luther king jr. day, a federal holiday which was controversial, at the time. mlk in spirit is a more controversial hero. obama rooted his appeals to traditional values, although they involve new advances and sacrifices, he put it in that form.
also, briefly, what johnathan said, such an important point. there were four words in this inaugural that didn't appear in the 2009 inaugural, gay, medicare, medicaid, social security, both on the issue of rights and the issue of supporting each other. not as a broad, gauzy principle, but in the specific debates we're also having in this country, about whether or not we can afford to take care of each other and afford to make good on the commitments we have made to the elderly, the veterans, also to our fellow man. >> this is the day for that. >> it was all in there. it was all in there, and i think that is why it moved, as you said, lawrence, moved people from all walks of life. >> krystal, thank you for dressing up. you actually went to a ball. >> yes, i did. >> johnathan, i couldn't be more disappointed. you know, i hoped for the black tie. >> i didn't go to any balls. >> this looks like a work day for you.
ari, it looks good -- >> we'll be right back with a little more of this show, and more dancing analysis. and we have joy reed and richard wolffe. oh, you want me to talk to that camera right there? all right, we'll be right back. [ man ] i've been out there most of my life. you name it...i've hooked it. but there's one... one that's always eluded me. thought i had it in the blizzard of '93. ha! never even came close. sometimes, i actually think it's mocking me. [ engine revs ] what?! quattro!!!!! ♪
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okay, now we're going to see how the obamas warmed up in their second dance, the second time they had to get up on stage in bright, glaring light and dance in front of millions and millions of people around the world. let's get to that moment. yeah, there we go, there we go. that is date night. yeah. all right, there will be more dancing, more talk when we come back here on "the last word." whoa !
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today, we continue a never-ending journey to bridge the meaning of those words with the reality of our time. for history tells us that while these truths may be self evident, they have never been self-executing. that while freedom is a gift from god, it must be secured by his people here on earth. >> sam stein, that is obviously the president who was uniquely delivered here to deliver that section of that speech. >> yeah, and i'm not going to say anything original here -- >> no, no, at 10:35, we're not expecting anything original. we used that earlier in the show. by the way, if there is anything from the first half hour that you would like to repeat. >> no, i was just going to say,
if you thought they were good dancers, the president and first lady, you should have seen me, but to your point. >> and on your second dance did you get warmer? >> yeah, you get into it a little more. it was a really aggressive speech. it was an assertive speech, signalled something different from the president. i remember watching it thinking that the first inaugural speech was so different, this was an up-front defense of what the government can do in society. that was an important point, for his second term, which will require the government to be a lot of his policies. >> let's listen to what he said about climate change, for example, which is not the kind of thing that would come up in the first inaugural. >> we will respond to the threat of climate change, knowing that the failure to do so would betray our children and future generations.
some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires and crippling drought, and more powerful storms. >> it is interesting that he includes the denial of science in there. that almost makes it a partisan comment, now. >> yes, you know if you would have read his speech or listened to his speech four years ago you would think the biggest problem facing the globe was partisanship and people arguing with each other in washington. that was the thing he was going to come in and fix. now he is actually talking about something real that actually is a major threat. and he is doing it in an idealogical way, saying you have to believe in something, and do things together to solve this problem. all the way, he is smacking people around, smacking around paul ryan, by employing his own "takers rhetoric".
>> we recognize that no matter how responsibly we live our lives, anyone of us in our time could face a sudden job loss, or illness, or a home sweat away in a terrible storm. the commitments we make to each other, through medicare and medicaid and social security, these things do not sap our initiative, they strengthen us. they do not make us a nation of takers. they free us to take the risks that make this country great. >> that is such an important point about how these programs free us. you know, we don't all have our
grandmothers sleeping in the home with us because they now have social security, medicare, that changed the dynamics of poverty among elderly. who used to be the most poverty-stricken segment of society. >> and it used to be the numbers, what are the long-term budget impacts of it. what i was struck by, to go off of paul ryan's premise, in 2008, we need to come together because we're all rational people and let's do it for the common good. now it was, we need to come together because there are serious problems out there. climate change is one of them. other stuff, as well. gun control, immigration was referenced. women's rights and equal pay. he said it is time for the rational majority to say enough with this stuff. enough of the climate denial, and enough of the takers versus makers rhetoric. i thought it was an intense pivot of what was happening in the first three years. >> and the best thing, what was not in there.
being all hung up about the debt and deficit. he didn't go on and on, even in his speech about the convention, he talked about a $4 trillion deal. if this is an indication of where he is going, we're done with it. >> i want to see what he says about the state of the union. this has to be jointly -- >> we'll have you back. >> thank you. >> no, this is an inauguration night. >> i promise original thoughts when we come back for it. >> don't start to reach into a future episode of this show. the comedy team of sam stein and ryan grim, thank you for joining us. coming up, the president's call to broaden equality. going back to seneca and stonewall. joy reid will join me. [ mom ] a new game? that'll save the day.
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the couple had to dance in front of millions and millions of people around the world. joy reid, they started off. the first dance was so stiff i couldn't believe it. did you see the first dance? >> i was in the second dance, so i couldn't see anything -- >> then they loosened up there, in the third -- since they had the second, basically as rehearsal, they got it right. >> and the second one was lovely, it was -- they made the room disappear, they seemed to have fun which is a hard thing to do. >> it was a brightly lit, anti-romantic room. >> and you have to realize, what you can't see everybody is standing in this massive ballroom, which is a big, empty warehouse, they're all looking while you're trying to be romantic. and all of these people are screaming and flashing cameras and yelling your name. it is the most unromantic setting ever. and then you have this singer on
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and selma and stonewall, songs unsung, to hear a preacher say that we cannot walk alone. to hear a king proclaim that our freedom is bound to the freedom of every soul on earth. >> joy reid, i believe a lot of people were out there saying what is seneca falls? what is stonewall? you know it is a marker of women are rights movements. in 1980, the new york senator decided we should have a monument there. they passed a bill to do it and of course started building it 11 years later, with a dedication for it 13 years later, he got to stand there when this was really created. but that was a passage that many people are grabbing on to, today saying this was an extraordinary
moment for an inaugural, to cite all of those movements and all of those rights achievements, that had been left out of the package of rights, given to us by our founding fathers. >> right, and he talked about the country, forming a more perfect union, getting everybody involved. he said you know, this union was formed with leaving some things out. that women didn't exactly have a place at the table, that african-americans, this being martin luther king jr. day, he mentioned gay americans who were not before mentioned in an inaugural speech. i thought it was important, it brought everybody together, it was very unifying. he made the attempt at unity. we'll see if his opponents can pick it up. >> richard, here is the president, the 57th inauguration, he is in effect, without overtly doing it, criticized the founding fathers,
that they did leave out notions. it only applied to men of a certain level in the economy. he never said it that way, but that is really what was going on. >> yes, but, he is saying yes, they fell short. but the ideals they put out there should still guide us. >> they left a brilliant framework for improvement. >> which was what king talked about, this promissory note. the idea that king and the founding fathers being the north star here. he used it in the nobel prize speech. it gets back to a running theme for the president all along, which is the world as it is, versus the world as it should be. and what he says, all along, even if i'm not up to it or even if i'm not a king or founding father or lincoln, having that
purpose, that sense of direction, the north star is what we should strive for. and striving for things is actually what creates something worthwhile, even if you fail. >> joy, your general reaction? >> i thought it was wonderful, i thought yes, we can, still is the best speech that i have heard. he walked away from that sort of rhetoric, because he needed to communicate basically about policy. this was not about policy. but at the same time it was the most forthright delivery. he took liberalism which has been put aside as somehow being apart from the founding creed, had he said yes, we value individualism, even that little girl born with nothing, has a right, has a shot to have a chance. >> we'll be right back, we'll get one more look.
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and i'm confident that we can act at this moment in a way that makes a difference for our children and our children's children. i know that former president carter, president clinton, they understand the irony of the presidential office, which is the longer you're there, the more humble you become. and the more mindful you are
that it is beyond your poor powers individually to move this great country. you can only do it because you have extraordinary partners. and a spirit of good will, and most of all, because of the strength and resiliency and fundamentalness of the american people. >> richard, i love that point you think of me as this very powerful man, but the job, you don't actually feel powerful in it. >> right, that is a second-time president. he is also talking to people who feel anything but humble. and the reason they feel anything but humble is precisely they can take him down, whenever they want to. obviously, he is still the president, but they can make his life extraordinarily difficult, and they have. but yes, here is someone who is not begging for help, but he is politely asking as a president can. >> joy, there was a different
tone in that lunch. this was a friendly accessible man seeming to be speaking to a company that we all work in together. you would have the feeling this was almost like you know, the corporate luncheon here, we're all on the same team. >> yeah, i think we're now finally seeing the barack obama unburdened by the prospect of another election. this is a guy that is freed up in a way that he was running for office, having to go through this gauntlet, unreasonable, it had to be a shock for him in just finding out how limited the powers of the office are, when congress opposes you. but this is a president who can be bold with his words, and hopefully compel the other side to work with him. you know, this is a day when everybody can come together, who knows if it will have an impact. but this is the guy that has to
negotiate, under different terms than he had before. >> richard, you wrote the book about it. where do you see him going? that guy that we just saw walking down pennsylvania avenue with that very kind of easy wave that he has today. >> oh, look, he is much more confident and relaxed today, that is true. by the way, four years ago, the republicans were planning how to obstruct him the night of the inaugural. even setting that aside, yes, they can stake all of this out for the next couple of years, but they know he can't do half of what he wants right now. the interesting thing for me is how he thinks ahead for what he hopes is going to be the last two years. he does have one more election where he is going to be tested. and he wants to go back to the midterm, and overturn that. he is not putting it like there
will be another honeymoon, that may be what he is thinking, but that is not in his head. >> we're already seeing that work. >> yeah, no, from what i was hearing from sources, not only is he not going to negotiate, he doesn't even take their calls. he is like this is something i wouldn't even take your call. but if you want to talk about other things, his doors open. they're going to raise the debt ceiling. he understands that the brinksmanship that the republicans were able to bring last time, just doesn't exist. this guy is popular with the american people. he is a likeable guy, a great family. a few more weeks of this honeymoon before the sharks start to come back into the water but hopefully he will truly take advantage of it. >> joy reid, and richard wolffe, thank you for joining us on this historic night. and america's troubadeer in chief, james taylor gets tonight's last word.